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Marine Corps Marathon - RunMarathon


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Washington, DC, Washington, D.C.
United States
Marine Corps
Total Time = 4h 59m 56s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

My phone decided that this weekend was daylight savings time. I had set my alarm for 5:15, but when it went off, I looked at the clock, and it said '4:15'. I turned off the alarm and slept for another hour. When I woke up again (cell phone clock time: 5:15), I thought to myself 'Why did my alarm go off an hour earlier than I had set it for?.... oh crap". Yup. 6:15. Time to get moving. I had to get my butt out the door and off to the races.
Event warmup:

Got through the bathroom lines just before race start. Threw myself in a corral and started moving. I literally just made it to the race.
Run
  • 00m
  • 26.2 miles
  •  min/mile
Comments:

This year, I completed my first ever half ironman (Lake Anna, in the beginning of September, in what was the MOST fun I've ever had racing, ever) and was thinking "ok! Time to start marathon training!" I had about a month and a half to get it into gear. My big hope for this season was to do the Sunmart 50k in December, with the MCM being a long training run for that. I cleaned my bike, put the bike shoes away, and got ready for weeks of running. Lo and behold, I checked out my training plan (developed by good friend of mine in the tri club) and was surprised to see almost as much biking as I had been doing in prep for the HIM. Hmmm. Oookay. This was probably a good thing, as I has sustained a slight injury to my shin during the HIM (not a shin split, not a stress fracture, just an annoying pain that would kick in after about 10-12 miles of running. And by 'annoying', I mean 'Ice pick to the middle of the shin bone'), but I can't say I was totally convinced. Anyway, I kept biking, did my "long" run of just over 16 miles, and had a total freak out. This wasn't going to work. I hobbled my way to the end of my long run, and knew I was out for the marathon. There was just no way. I didn't have enough time. It wasn't going to work.

I quickly got myself to a Chiro/ART doc (Dr. Kevin Rindal -- Tri Club member and overall awesome guy), who quickly deduced it was not a stress fracture, and thought he could work it out so I could get through the race and not be injured afterwards. The best part about walking into a doctor's office where the reading material in the waiting room is 'Runners World' and 'Triathlete Mag' is that you know they aren't going to tell you to bag the race and rest up. Kevin poked, prodded, adjusted and tapped me up, and it seemed that i was good to go. I had a bail out plan at mile 20, recognizing that if the 50k was going to happen, I might have to sacrifice this race.

Once I FINALLY got to the race (see above re sleeping in), my first impression is that I was tired. I saw a spectator drinking a coke around mile 2 and was very close to asking them if I could have it. I needed a cup of coffee, a red bull, something -- was very sluggish. I calmed myself by remembering that it takes me about 6-7 miles to warm up (Which is why I do marathons and not, say, 10ks :) ), and kept chugging along. Sure enough, mile 7 came and I was in a groove. I was doing 8:2 run/walk (run 8 minutes, walk 2), as this is my plan for the 50k and I wanted to check it out. Everything was going great. I felt good, it felt like an easy jog. Nutrition was spot on (eGels are the BEST) and life was awesome. Saw my friends Scott and Kami around mile 12, which was a welcome break. Yay for familiar faces! Around mile 16ish, I took a step and BAM -- ice pick to the shin. Shit. Ironically, this was directly next to a medical tent. I knew if I wanted to bail, this would be the best spot, because they could get me back to the finish and my dry goods bag w/o too much walking on my part. But I didn't want to bail. I was feeling good! I took a Tylenol that they were handing out, and chugged along. I was able to adjust my gait in such a way that the shin wasn't hurting. I'd forget every 30 steps or so and get a sharp reminder in my shin that I needed to adjust my gait yet again.

Hains Point went great. This had been a super low point for me the year before, when everything had started to shut down. But this year I barely noticed it. I was starting to get a bit tired, and I was worried about the shin, but mostly I was enjoying the day and thinking about the hours and hours I have spent circling HP on my bike, and how weird it was to run it in the 'wrong' direction. I did a mental check about mile 19 -- I was circling back towards the Med Tent at this point, another good time to bail. Was there anything I would rather be doing this morning? Brunch with friends? Sleeping? Reading? Sunday AM yoga class? Nope. This was the only thing I wanted to be doing (well. I wanted to be DONE doing it, but that wasn't the point). That was a good moment for me -- realizing that out of everything else I COULD be doing, running this race was the only thing I WANTED to do. That put a smile back on my face, and I rounded the turn to go up to the 14th street bridge.

Another good moment: seeing Mike, his daughter Sammy, Kelly and Stella and Laura and Rocky. Yay! My god-doggies! (um. And my friends). I got some much needed puppy love and it was great to see familiar faces. I know Laura was disappointed in me for ignoring the rules and listening to my iPod, but I didn't really care. I should point out that by this point, I had been listening to Kanye West's "Stronger" for about two hours, and didn't see any reason to change. Well, actually, on my walk breaks, I'd let the iPod roll to the next song (Warren G's 'regulate') but when I would start running, it was back to Kanye. I thought I'd get sick of it, but that point never really came. It was perfect for keeping cadence, although I did start arguing with the sentiment at points (Kanye, this might not kill me, but i doubt it will make me stronger, so shut the f up").

Made it over the bridge, and then it hit: IT band pain. SUCK! Apparently, in altering my gait to accommodate my shin, I had starting pissing off my ITBand on my other leg. Doh. Now, I had previously though that it was impossible to run with ITband pain. This is not true. You can do it, it just sucks. This was mile 21, and it was a real low moment for me. I was still keeping up with the 8:2 run/walk, but the run was getting painful. I totally started talking to myself at this point, repeated under my breath "Relentless Forward Motion". I don't know why this phrase, but it stuck and it worked, even though I'm sure it was annoying those around me (who I was passing, btw, so suck it. I can be the crazy chick who is talking to herself as long as I am passing you!) Just before mile 22 I saw my friend Greg going the other way, who back in 2001 told me we should run a marathon together, but at the time I thought he was nuts. It was great to see him on the course (albeit about 40 minutes in front of me) and reminded me of how far I've come since then.

Miles 23-25 are just awful. Boring scenery, carnage everywhere, and then, when you hit mile 25, you can see the finish, but realize you have to run down 1/2 a mile and then run BACK 1/2 a mile and then you can finish. Blah. At this point, I was pretty sure my shin had progressed into stress fracture territory, my IT band was killing me, and I could feel tears behind my eyes. It just hurt. I was dreaming about the medical tent and ice packs, and needed to be done. Mile 25 destroyed me mentally -- seeing the finish and then seeing how far I had to go to get there. It would have been great to have someone jump in at this point to yell at me, tell me to just keep moving, and run in front of me so I could dumbly follow cadence. But, I didn't have that, and looking at my watch, I realized I had 20ish minutes to hit my pseudo goal time (5 hrs), so I just started walking, and didn't start running again until the big hill at the finish. It was only later in the day that I realized I hadn't turned off the auto-pause on my Garmin, and so instead of beating my goal time by 8 minutes, I had only beat it by 6 seconds. Yikes! I felt great charging up that last hill (that's what a mile walk break will do for ya) and was thrilled to finally, FINALLY be done. Owie.
What would you do differently?:

Not give up on mile 25. That was all mental. Sure, I was in a lot of pain, but I was in pain at mile 21 too, and I kept running then. I really need to mentally work past that. I'm disappionted in myself, even though at the time I was doing the whole "Don't look back at this and be annoying, you're walking and its the right decision". But it wasn't. That was the first time all day I had bailed on the 8:2 run/walk, and it was the WRONG decision. Good lesson to learn, although it means I'm going to have to run another damn marathon just apply the lesson learned :)

One thing I WOULDN'T do differently is my nutrition and hydration. I was spot on for both. I never got dyhydrated, but I didn't have to go to the bathroom at any point. I kept to my eating schedule and never felt depleted.
Post race
Warm down:

The finish line at MCM continues to be a cluster fluck. After finishing, I stood still in a group of people trying to get out into the main finish area for no less than 10 minutes. Seriously -- not moving slowly in a line, just standing still. Three people around me collapsed and had to be carried out by other runners/marines who could get to them. It was less than ideal, and I don't know if they'll ever get it to a point where it doesn't suck. But that's just the way it is, and you kind of learn to expect it, and that makes it less annoying (I think).Once I got out, I just made my way through Arlington and back to a friends house, where I was given a beer, an ice pack and a pat on the back. After all, I had beat last years time by 30 minutes, had significantly more fun (Well. "Fun". I missed Team Chippy, and felt lonlier on this run than last year. But the run itself was more pleasant) I call that a win. Not sure yet what the long term damage to my legs will be, but I'll take the week off and see if maybe I can rehab it enough for the 50k. Prob not, but we'll see.

The moral of this story, really, is that when in doubt, listen to someone who isn't you. On Thursday of this week I had though there was no way I could do this race, but a good friend reminded me that self perspective is in NOT a good indicator of what you are capable of. The training worked, and I had a great experience. And seriously: if I can PR every marathon by 30 minutes, what the hell is there to complain about? All in all, a great day.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Shin injury, mental weakness, back loading a season with a HIM and marathon back to back.




Last updated: 2007-09-28 12:00 AM
Running
00:00:00 | 26.2 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance:
Course:
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized?
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2007-10-30 7:29 AM

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Master
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Colorado
Subject: Marine Corps Marathon


2007-10-30 9:45 AM
in reply to: #1029426

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Expert
853
5001001001002525
Fort Worth, Texas
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
I am currently training for my first marathon and really enjoyed reading your race report, nice introspection into your journey. Great job on pushing through all the challenges and finishing strong and a PR!
2007-10-30 10:12 AM
in reply to: #1029426

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Coach
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Boston, MA
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Congrats! Sometimes we have to go through these defining moments to learn our limits and even though we sometimes push ourselves through rough spots sometimes at risk of pain/injury but we learn a lot about ourselves and determination. You PR by 30 mi with inconsistent training due to the different challenges you faced prior MCM which only shows that you have IT, you are rock start for sure

Now rest and focus on getting those legs recovered 100% before getting back to training.

2007-10-30 10:42 AM
in reply to: #1029426

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Expert
1166
10001002525
Northern VA
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Congratulations on making it through to the end despite the pain. I did miss running into Team Chippy this year, that made my day last year.
2007-10-30 4:46 PM
in reply to: #1029426

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Pro
4481
20002000100100100100252525
Reston
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon

You're all heart. 

Oh wait, that was last year's.  I guess I need something new.

You're hot. 

That'll do.  Wanna go to notchilis?

2007-10-30 4:48 PM
in reply to: #1030440

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Master
2052
20002525
Colorado
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon

Yes, I do, but I'm not in Tysons (well, normally a 'not in tysons deserves the smiley emoticon, but in this case notsomuch.)

 

3558 - 2007-10-30 5:46 PM

You're all heart. 

Oh wait, that was last year's.  I guess I need something new.

You're hot. 

That'll do.  Wanna go to notchilis?



2007-10-30 6:08 PM
in reply to: #1029426

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Buttercup
14332
500050002000200010010010025
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon

Awesome job, Elizabeth. Kudos to you for persevering and fighting the good mental fight.

Congrats!!!!

2007-10-30 7:09 PM
in reply to: #1029426

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Expert
823
500100100100
Stafford, Ks
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Awesome race report and great job on overcoming adversity! YOU ROCK!!!
2007-10-31 11:23 AM
in reply to: #1029426

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Master
2429
200010010010010025
Falls Church, Virginia
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Great job, way to fight through and have a good run. Now take good care of that leg!
2007-10-31 11:35 AM
in reply to: #1029426

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Champion
7704
50002000500100100
Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Great job and congrats on the huge PR
2007-10-31 12:01 PM
in reply to: #1029426

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Hollidaysburg, PA
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Congrats!! Nice race report! Hope you are feeling better.


2007-10-31 6:55 PM
in reply to: #1029426

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2007-10-31 8:34 PM
in reply to: #1029426

Champion
6627
5000100050010025
Rochester Hills, Michigan
Gold member
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon

E, team Chip misses you too. Congrats on the PR, You rock out with your...never mind. That's a helluva long way from Chipmunkheart and the previous 2 years of uncertainty. It's a good thing. And now get some frigging rest.  And I love MCM, but don't miss the finish chute / post race logistics / commute back even a single bit.

BTW, that was a killer race report. I kinda knew where you were the entire time. Like for real.

2007-10-31 8:47 PM
in reply to: #1029426

Subject: ...
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2007-11-01 10:10 AM
in reply to: #1029426

Queen BTich
12411
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,
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Great job! I'm so proud of you!
2007-11-01 2:15 PM
in reply to: #1029426

Pro
4675
20002000500100252525
Wisconsin near the Twin Cities metro
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Nice job!  MCM was my first marathon, so it brings back good memories.


2007-11-01 2:49 PM
in reply to: #1029426

Champion
8766
5000200010005001001002525
Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon

Congratulations, Chippy!

I'm glad you didn't oversleep by much.  Whenever I turn off my alarm like that I always end up falling asleep for HOURS afterwards.  And I set an MCM PR the day I was still in the porta-potty when the gun went off.  I think the whole not standing around getting nervous thing is beneficial!

2007-11-01 3:09 PM
in reply to: #1029426

Pro
4216
20002000100100
Sous Mon Diadème
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Great race report... thank you for sharing.  Congratulations on getting through what sounds like a true test of endurance and meeting your goal while doing so.
2007-11-01 3:17 PM
in reply to: #1029426

Elite
2515
2000500
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon

Great race and awesome RR, Chippy! Way to tune out the pain and keep on truckin'. Kick some at Sunmart.

Cheers!

Tom

2007-11-01 3:33 PM
in reply to: #1029426

Master
1978
1000500100100100100252525
Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
You rocked it.  Plain and simple.  It's one thing to run a marathon and feel ok, it's another to run one, be in PAIN and keep going.  That's effing AWESOME.  I'm very very very proud of you!!!!  YAY!!  I know you're gonna be ready for the pain of Sunmart, cuz you got thru this with flying colors!!!
2007-11-01 4:33 PM
in reply to: #1029426

Champion
11641
50005000100050010025
Fairport, NY
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon

Go You!

Now rest.

MCM is on my "races to do before I die" list. Can I be on Team Chippy next year?  



2007-11-01 4:35 PM
in reply to: #1033926

Master
2052
20002525
Colorado
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon

DUH! of COURSE!

marmadaddy - 2007-11-01 5:33 PM

Go You!

Now rest.

MCM is on my "races to do before I die" list. Can I be on Team Chippy next year?  

2007-11-01 7:11 PM
in reply to: #1029426

Expert
950
5001001001001002525
McKinney, TX
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
The baby says "you rock!!!"   (oh yeah, me too!)
2007-11-01 7:19 PM
in reply to: #1029426

Elite
2796
2000500100100252525
Texas
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
You've come so much further than 26.2...
2007-11-01 9:38 PM
in reply to: #1029426

Champion
9430
50002000200010010010010025
No excuses!
Subject: RE: Marine Corps Marathon
Great job out there, you rock!!
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